Thursday, November 24, 2016
"Sailor Moon fights against spread of STIs on behalf of Japan’s health ministry"
Image and text from Japan Today, 11/24/16.
As the main star of an anime about magical high school girls fighting to protect the universe from forces of evil, this new collaboration between Sailor Moon and the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare to fight the spread of STIs in the community actually makes a whole lot of sense.
According to the official press release distributed by the ministry, the Pretty Guardian will now be appearing on 156,000 A4-sized leaflets and 5,000 A2-sized posters, with part of the star’s catchphrase, “In the name of the moon, I will punish you!!” reworked to read “If you don’t get tested, I will punish you!!” in the poster’s tagline.
The posters and leaflets will be distributed at coming-of-age ceremonies for the nation’s 20 year-olds around the country in January, along with a total of 142 local governments and groups such as the Japan Foundation for AIDS Prevention, the Japan Medical Association, the Japanese Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and the Japanese Foundation for Sexual Health Medicine set to receive the specially marked campaign materials for distribution.
In addition to the posters, the campaign materials will also include heart-shaped packages featuring an image of the sailor-suit wearing star of the anime series, with a free condom tucked away inside. The ministry will be distributing 60,000 of these specially marked packs.
Despite the cute appearance of the campaign, preventing the spread of sexually transmitted infections is an issue that the government is taking very seriously. Cases of syphilis infections are reportedly on the rise in Japan, with records showing 2,697 people were infected with the disease in 2015, which is 4.3 times more than five years earlier, when 621 cases were reported in 2010. Furthermore, from the beginning of 2016 to mid-October, over 3,000 people contracted syphilis in Japan.
With a large number of females being infected with STIs like syphilis, the ministry wanted to find a way to connect with young women, ranging in age from teens to 30s, which resulted in them seeking out the cooperation of Sailor Moon creator Naoko Takeuchi for the new campaign. While it might seem like an unlikely collaboration, using the familiar face of the Pretty Guardian, who speaks to a wide generation of women across the country, might actually be the perfect way to help protect the population after all.
Source, image: Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare Press Release
At least the government is finally doing something. But is cute manga/anime the cure for everything? Happy Thanksgiving!